The Toufayan family has been baking since 1926, initially in Egypt where the family lived before immigrating to America in the 1960s. Mr. Toufayan and his father began in a bakery below their two-bedroom apartment, baking pitas and other products by hand. Mr. Toufayan was in his early twenties and split his time between an embroidery factory and the bakery, routinely working 17-hour days. The bakery mostly served other native Armenians and Egyptians, and soon began to supply ethnic restaurants in nearby Manhattan.
One day, while standing in line at a supermarket deli counter in New Jersey, Mr. Toufayan realized American consumers might love the pocketed pita bread his family had been making for decades. He packed up some fresh pitas and began the task of introducing deli, supermarket and health food store buyers to this new, previously unknown bread, changing the baked breads category in the process. And as demand grew, Mr. Toufayan thrived at working with OEMs to design and build never-before built equipment to automate the process of making the bread of his childhood in order to keep up with demand. Today, Toufayan Bakeries products are in major supermarkets in all 50 states.
Toufayan Bakeries now consists of three bakeries in New Jersey and Florida, which are still run by Mr. Toufayan with his three adult children, Karen, Kristine and Greg. The company produces more than 100 varieties of baked goods including naan, tandoori, bagels and wraps as well as innovations such as lower carb Smart Pockets™, an award-winning line of Gluten-Free wraps, and many different types of national brand equivalent cookies.
Those who know him best celebrate not only his ingenuity, but his philanthropic dedication. Mr. Toufayan built and actively supports a church youth center in Armenia, and as a proud American citizen, has funded the expansion of local non-profits, schools and charities and regularly steps in to help those in need nationwide.